With every technological advancement a period of transition from old to new always follows. Televisions are a perfect example of this with their almost complete ubiquity in our society. The innovation of and consumer availability of the TV triggered a transition away from the Radio as the primary entertainment medium in most homes, and further transitions followed soon after. June 25th marked Color TV day, which itself was a massive disruption to the install base of TV’s. In 1965 it was announced that going forward half of all prime-time TV would be broadcast in color, and not until 1980 did the majority of TV’s support Color.
More recent and disruptive transitions many of you may remember first hand include the HD movement, and beyond that the Digital transition in the US that forced people to either purchase a supported TV or get a digital converter to continue using their old sets. These transitions are still ongoing and overlapping, as evidenced by the massive amount of old tube TV’s still brought into Best Buy stores every day to be recycled.
However a new movement, which has actually been upon us for a number of years, is the practice of “Cord Cutting”. Cutting the Cord involves ending your Cable or Satellite TV subscription, and moving wholly over to internet based video streaming with services like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and others. For many cutting the cord is about escaping the high cost of Television Subscriptions that come with hundreds of channels you’ll likely never watch. For others it’s about watching what you want, when you want, often without commercials. No matter the reason, there are a few things you need to know before Cutting the Cord.
First you need to make sure your internet connection and home Wi-Fi network is up to the task. If it’s been a long time since you’ve upgraded your wireless router now might be a good time to do so. Next you’ll need at least one streaming device. If you already have a Blu-ray player or gaming console connected to a TV, or your TV is a Smart TV, you can likely already stream. In order to stream to your other screens you’ll need a dedicated streaming device like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV,Roku, or aGoogle Chromecast. For local channels and sports there are HDTV antennas, which let you watch HD video broadcast over the air for free.